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Miguel Casillas

Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Title: Senior VP, DVD/BD production

Miguel Casillas’ refusal to wait for Blu-ray players to catch up to the format’s technological capabilities has put Lionsgate on the cutting edge when it comes to introducing a new generation of bonus features.

Months before the PlayStation 3 or other Blu-ray players were able to connect to the Internet for BD Live, Lionsgate introduced a social networking component on BD releases “Saw IV” and “War” anticipating the new Internet capability. Both releases included the social feature dubbed MoLog, which allows viewers to connect online through their Blu-ray player to other people watching the movie at the same time.

“The launch of a new format is really kind of an opportunity for the studios, at least for us, to dictate to the software engineers what we wanted to do,” Casillas says.

That means not holding back just because the Blu-ray technology isn’t there yet.

For example, Casillas and his team were anxious to create a picture-in-picture feature for the disc release of the summer pic “Descent,” but no Blu-ray player on the market had the capability to execute that kind of thing yet. Lionsgate engineered around the problem, figuring out a way to program the disc to produce the same effect.

With its May 27 release of “Rambo,” Lionsgate hopes to launch another first using BD Live. Not only will users be able to connect with each other through MoLog, but they might also be able to download new content such as ringtones.

POV: “Before we figure out the business model, we’re still trying to figure out the technology model.”

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